Category: Air Quality

Air Filters: How Often Should You Change Them?

Man Replacing Home Air Filter

Changing out an air filter is something a lot of people surprisingly forget to do when it’s appropriate. Considering the air filter serves a significant role, it’s imperative to keep it clean. 


Just as you clean the various nooks and crannies in your home, your air filter should not be the exception. With that said, you may wonder just how often it’s necessary to change it out. The answer to that question is not as straightforward as one may like. It widely depends on a few different factors. 


These factors include family size, the region you live in, whether or not you own pets, as well as if there’s children or elderly people in the home. It can also be dependent on whether or not people in your home have bad allergies. In this article, we will uncover the appropriate time to switch out your air filter based on your living situation. 


How often should you change your air filter? 


In order to keep the quality of your air at its best, you will need to regularly switch out your air filters. By doing so, your AC unit will work more effectively, resulting in cleaner air, and lower energy bills. 


How often you should change your air filter depends on several variables including the quality of the air filter you select. The two most common air filters are: Fiberglass and Pleated. 


Fiberglass FIlters

Fiberglass filters are usually extremely inexpensive but will need to be changed out every 30 days or less. 


Pleated Filters 


Pleated filters on the other hand, may cost more, but you get what you pay for seeing these filters usually last from 3-6 months depending on the current season. 


Overall, pleated filters trap more dirt, are more durable, and they are proven to be better quality. It may cost you a few bucks more, but it’s worth it in the long run. 


More factors to consider when changing air filter 


There are several variables to consider when it comes to not only the quality of the air filter you purchase, but also how frequent you should change it out. These factors include but are not limited to: 


  • Region: For some lucky people who live in an area where it’s not necessary to use your AC or furnace, the lifespan of your air filter can be prolonged. If you are running your AC or furnace for more than 5 hours per day, you will need to change it out routinely. 
  • Size of Home: For larger homes, air filters may need to be switched out more frequently than those living in smaller homes. This is due to the fact that it requires more AC to fill the larger home on a daily basis which shortens the lifespan of your air filter. 
  • Children/ Elderly: For homes that have children or elderly individuals, you will want to choose pleated air filters and change them out every 60-90 days ensuring that the air stays clean from germs and air particles that could be dangerous. 
  • Allergies: For those who suffer from allergies, you will also want to not only change your air filter more frequent (every 30-40 days), but you will want to invest in a high quality air filter as well. It may cost you a bit more, but it’s absolutely worth it.


The takeaway 


Air filters are worth the investment. Regardless if you live in a small home with two adults, or a larger home with small children, a good quality air filter is always recommended. 


Routine air filter changes not only give you a peace of mind in terms of the air you breathe, but it’s also crucial for your overall health. 


If you have any more questions or concerns regarding air filters, our team at Guin Service would be glad to help!

4 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality & Breathe Easier

Indoor Air Quality - Happy Family

Did you know that the average American spends 90% of his or her time indoors, but that many studies have indicated that indoor air quality is generally poor? In fact, indoor air is two to five times more heavily polluted than outdoor air.

Poor indoor air can cause and aggravate several health conditions, so finding a way to purify indoor air is important for your overall health. The populations who are most at risk from indoor pollutants are children, the elderly, and the chronically ill because their lungs aren’t as sturdy as other groups.

In this article, we’ll examine some of the causes of indoor pollution and share some affordable ways to improve your home’s indoor air quality.


Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

Historically, a major source of indoor air pollution was soot produced by the fuels that we burned to heat our homes. Although most US homes no longer rely on wood or coal for heat, many still burn wood for warmth and ambiance in the winter. Even scented candles add measurable soot to a home’s air.

Many other sources of pollution are a byproduct of ordinary life. For example, cooking adds smoke and oil particles to your home’s air, especially if your stove does not have a vented hood. The scented room sprays, perfumes, and hairsprays that we use every day can linger in the air and irritate sensitive respiratory systems. Indoor tobacco use is another significant contributor to poor air quality.


Symptoms of Poor Air Quality

Persistent itchy, watery eyes, irritation in your nose and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue are all signs that you’ve been breathing polluted air. Poor air quality can also aggravate existing conditions like allergies, asthma, and respiratory diseases.

How can you tell if your symptoms are the results of your home’s air? If your irritation seems to wane when you’re away from home and return when you come back, it could be due to your air quality.


How to Improve Air Quality

There are several steps that you can take to improve your indoor air quality, many of which are entirely free.


1. Eliminate Pollutants

An excellent place to begin your clean air journey is to end behaviors that add toxins to the air. If you smoke inside, commit to smoking only outdoors. Dust and vacuum regularly. Choose LED candles over flame candles. Use gentle household cleaners rather than those with potent, toxic chemicals.

Instead of covering bad odors with scented candles or spray, track down the source and take it outside. If the weather is particularly windy, if you’re grilling, or if someone nearby is having a backyard bonfire, close your windows to keep the pollutants out.

When you shower, run the overhead fan to reduce moisture and prevent mold and mildew growth. Lastly, don’t idle your car in an attached garage, as the fumes can seep into your home.


2. Ventilate Your Home

Since outdoor air contains fewer pollutants than indoor air, an easy (and free!) way to reduce contaminants in your home is to ventilate with fresh outdoor air. When the weather permits, bring in as much fresh air as possible.

Open a window in your kitchen when you cook if your stove does not have a vented hood. If you’re painting, cleaning, sanding, or doing any other periodic activity that puts scents and particulates in the air, open your windows and doors.


3. Purify Your Air

Air purification is, essentially, a process of drawing contaminants out of your air. One effective way to do this is by changing your HVAC filter regularly. The frequency at which you change it depends on several factors, such as your home and family size, whether you have pets, and whether you have allergy-sufferers in your home.

A second strategy for purifying the air is to install an air purification system, either a whole-home or portable unit. Air purifiers draw particles, allergens, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, bacteria, and other contaminants out of the air. The most effective units will have high air circulation and an efficient collector to purify the maximum amount of air. We recommend whole-home air purifiers from Aprilaire.


4. Manage Your Humidity

Homes that are too humid can produce mold, mildew, and attract dust mites. Your home’s humidity should not be above 50%. Homes in cold climates may need to keep their humidity under 40% to prevent condensation on windows and walls. If you’re struggling to keep your home’s humidity down, consider running a dehumidifier.

However, homes that are too dry can aggravate respiratory infections, allergies, and asthma. Using a humidifier to maintain a healthy level of humidity can also help keep hardwood floors, cabinetry, and wooden furniture in good shape. If your home is too dry, you should run a humidifier.

Balancing your home’s humidity takes patience and may need adjustment as the seasons change.


Improve Your Indoor Air Quality with Guin

Guin Service is passionate about providing ways for people to breathe clean air. Partner with Guin to assess your home’s air quality and choose a solution tailored to your family’s unique needs. With over 50 years of experience, Guin professionals can install high-quality indoor air products in your home that will improve your family’s health.

Breathe Easier: 4 Tips for Better Indoor Air Quality

Improve Your Home's Air Quality

You know that breathing polluted air is bad for your health, but did you also know that there are measurable health benefits to improving your home’s indoor air quality? Giving your lungs fresh air can add a few months to your life, give you more energy, and help your digestive tract function more efficiently. 

Most people spend the majority of their time indoors, but the air inside homes and buildings can be more polluted than the smoggy air in a large, metropolitan city. To reap the benefits of breathing in clean air, it’s essential that you address the air quality in your home.

Other than keeping your home clean and dust free, you can open your windows regularly to bring in fresh outdoor air. However, if you want to purify your air further, try the following tips:


1.  Install an Air Filtration System

If there are small children, elderly family members, or severe allergy-sufferers in your home, you should consider installing an air filtration system. You can choose between portable or whole-house units that will filter dust, pollen, dust mites, mold, smoke, and pet dander out of the air. 

Whole-house filters integrate with your existing HVAC system. As air flows through your ducts, it runs through a robust filter that cleans the air before sending it through your home. One of the primary advantages of whole-house units is that they typically need maintenance just once each year. Most portable units need new filters multiple times each year, and the expense of replacing several filters throughout your home adds up quickly.


2.  Use Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

Managing the humidity in your home is a delicate balancing act that changes with the seasons. The air holds a lot of moisture during warm summers, but the humidity plummets with the temperature in the winter.

Too much humidity in your home can boost mold and mildew growth. It can also rot wooden furniture and home framing. When your doors are more difficult to open and close, it’s a sign that they may have absorbed too much moisture. Healthy home humidity levels are from 30% – 50%. 

A hygrometer can help you monitor your humidity. If the humidity is consistently higher than 50%, you should invest in a dehumidifier. Moisture-loving plants can also help draw water out of the air. 

On the other hand, air that is too dry can cause respiratory infections and can exacerbate allergies and asthma. Our lungs are lined with moist membranes, but dry air makes it harder for the membranes to filter out particulates, which causes lung irritation.

If the humidity in your home is below 30%, you can improve your health by using a humidifier. Your skin, nose, and lungs will thank you! Moist air also helps keep wooden furniture and floors in good condition and reduces static electricity. 


3.  Invest in a UV Air Purifier

UV air purifiers reside in the supply plenum of your home’s HVAC system and destroy pollution particulates, microbes (MRSA, e-Coli, and Norwalk), and mold spores. UV lamps can also reduce odor-causing particles from cooking, pet dander, and dust. 

When your HVAC pulls air through the supply plenum, the UV lamp destroys undesirable particulates before sending the clean air into your home. UV air purifiers work great in conjunction with air filtration systems. Together, the two systems can create extremely clean, high-quality air for your home.


4.  Have Your Ducts Professionally Cleaned

Dirty ducts spread dust and mold spores through the air in your home, but a professional duct cleaning gets rid of accumulated dust, debris, and microbes. In addition to improving your home’s indoor air quality, clean ducts also help your HVAC system run more efficiently. You’ll breathe easier and lower your energy bill at the same time!

Not all homes need yearly duct cleaning. However, if you’ve recently had your home renovated or if allergy-sufferers are struggling more than usual, a duct cleaning would be wise. Also, if you’ve thoroughly cleaned your vent registers and you still have dust, pet hair, and debris coming out of your ducts, it’s time to schedule a full cleaning.


Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

If you need recommendations for an air filtration system, UV air purifiers, a humidifier or dehumidifier, or if you would like a full duct cleaning, schedule an appointment with a Guin specialist today.


Breathe Easier When You Improve Air Quality

Family of four in a living room while improving air quality with a house plant.

What’s that smell?

Caring for your family means putting a roof over their head, food in their tummies, clothes on their back—and good air in their lungs! However, if your loved ones are constantly suffering from stuffy noses and ear, nose, and throat irritation, then you might need to focus on improving the air quality in your home.

Fortunately, our team at Guin Service is here to help you serve only the *best* air inside your home to both your loved ones and your guests! Find out how you can start improving the air quality inside your home with these tips.

Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

Poor air quality inside your home doesn’t just affect your breathing. It can also cause a number of other health symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Allergies
  • Coughing
  • Dizziness
  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sinus congestion
  • Sneezing

Fortunately, there are various ways to improve the air quality inside your home, sooner rather than later. Let’s take a look at ways you can begin to reduce contaminants inside your home in order to start breathing in cleaner air while inside your home.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Not all air is bad air! Especially when it comes to newer homes, homeowners need to ensure they are allowing some outside air into the home so that the air is moving in a circular motion. If you are worried that your home is not as properly ventilated as it should be, an indoor air quality specialist like Guin Service can take a closer look and give tips on how to improve the ventilation inside your home.

Change Your Air Filters Regularly

When was the last time you changed your air filter? If you can see through the air filter, then particles can go through it, which can assist in polluting the air inside your home.

Our team recommends using high-efficient air filters that are able to catch everything so that you do not have to change them but every six months to a year! Added bonus? We will even change the air filter for you when we perform maintenance checks on your air unit!

Keep Your Air Safe!

When was the last time you updated your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? While home electrical fires caused approximately 51,000 fires each year, more than 20,000 Americans go to the emergency room due to carbon monoxide poisoning a year.

Therefore, it is vital that you check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors frequently to ensure your home’s air remains safe and secure. And, if issues do arise, you are alerted immediately to keep your family safe!

Discover how our team at Guin Service in Birmingham, AL, can help improve the air quality in your home!

Contact Guin Service, LLC, serving Birmingham, Hoover, and Mountain Brook, AL, for AC Repair or Replacement as well as home generator installation. We’ve been in business for 60 years because we do what’s right for our customers. You can always trust us to be honest and have your best interest in mind. Just give us a call today at 205.595.4846.